Winners, losers, hits and misses amid a punishing week in the ad industry
A quick look at the week’s winners, losers and newsmakers.
Bill Kolb, a 20-year McCann veteran, will ascend to the top of the agency network after CEO Harris Diamond retires at the end of the year.
It was a punishing week across the ad industry. Mindshare CEO Nick Emery lost his job over what the WPP agency called “a clear breach of the company’s code of conduct.” Texas-based McGarrah Jesse laid off 10 percent of its 140-person staff. Kraft Mac & Cheese erased a suggestive “send noods” campaign from upstart shop Mischief @ No Fixed Address amid backlash. But the agency suffering the most long-term damage, unquestionably, is The Richards Group, which is dealing with a flood of client losses in the wake of Stan Richards’ racially insensitive remarks at an agency meeting. Richards later stepped down, and the shop has begun a rehabilitation effort that includes several diversity efforts. Will it work? Tweet us (@adage) your take.
Our Richards Group coverage drew the most clicks this week. But a post from last week on TikTok’s Ocean Spray-Fleetwood Mac ad is still getting a ton of eyeballs, as is this story on Accenture’s "let there be change” campaign.
Number of the week
$110.02: The average household spend on Amazon Prime Day, according to Numerator. The annual two-day event took place Oct. 13 and 14 this year, three months later than usual, and initiated an early start to the holiday shopping season for many consumers. Amazon, which has not released full numbers beyond announcing that third-party sellers saw $3.5 billion in sales, is continuing the momentum with new “Holiday Dash” deals, after mailing customers printed toy catalogs earlier this week.
Tweet of the week
This Bud’s for Halsey
Budweiser is turning up its music marketing. Halsey stars in its latest “Be a King” global ad from Anomaly that includes limited-edition merch, including Bud-branded hoodies. The ad will get media support in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Brazil, Argentina, South Korea and Japan. The singer-songwriter is no stranger to big-brand collabs. In 2017, she starred in a Jeep ad that featured a lot more of her than the car brand. Not unlike Bud's ad.
Quote of the week
“We call it FOMO—for us, it’s ‘fear of marketing older,’’’—Jeff Weiss, CEO of Age of Majority, a 3-year-old consultancy that helps brands target seniors, on the reluctance of brands to overtly cater to older buyers in marketing for fear of alienating younger customers. That dynamic is changing as senior shoppers become less brand loyal. Read more about the trend here.
Sign of the times
They are not calling it a sponsorship, exactly—but Major League Baseball this week inked a deal with Lysol to “help reinforce and promote healthy habits and disinfection protocols for the league’s players, staff, and fans.”
Food brands roll the dice
“Send Noods” wasn’t the only thing keeping Mac & Cheese in the news this week. The brand is part of a (much more family friendly) variety game pack from Kraft Heinz that also includes a Jell-O card game and a Heinz dice game that involves collecting enough ketchup to score 57 points. The game pack was created with game maker Big G Creative. Kraft Heinz is following the lead of marketers including Kellogg, which earlier this month introduced a Frosted Mini-Wheats game called Morning Craze. And these items come months after brands that hopped on the puzzle craze included McDonald’s and Heinz.